GO!

May I Gently Point Out. . .

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster's choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

Topic closed to new posts.
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Mordred,PAWS

No Not-Moms!!!!
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 9:28am PST 
. . .that some of you are inadvertently offending some of us?

This is Mordred's mom posting.
I have 4 indoor cats, all rescues. I am a widow on a fixed income who is being forced to sell her house because I'm running short of cash. I simply cannot afford to feed my feline friends the expensive brands of food; the money simply is not there. They get Purina O.N.E. dry because my vet recommended it; I'm going to try them on Taste of the Wild IF the price is no more than the O.N.E. For wet food each evening, each gets half a can of 9Lives.

I'm doing the best that I can, but how do you think I feel when someone describes the less expensive brands as "garbage" or "crap"?

And, as others have pointed out, cats for years have done well on "grocery store" food; I had two, Kalli and Cassandra, who ate nothing but that - and that was in the days when the "premium" foods were not yet developed. Cassandra lived to nearly 17, and Kalli was a big shy of 20. How bad could the food have been? I always check for the AAFCO label.

All I'm asking is that those of you who come across as food snobs be aware that not all of us have your financial resources, and to refer to the food we feed as garbage or crap implies that we don't care or are stupid. I assure you that neither of those things is true. I love my cats dearly; I have medical insurance on them. Before I found out how precarious my financial situation is, I charged an $1800 bill so that one of my barn cats (on whom I have no insurance) could have his broken leg mended; it will take me years to pay that off. Does that sound as though I don't care? Just please - have a little compassion for those of us who aren't as wealthy as you are.

Thank you for your consideration.
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Eleanor- (Mom's- Angel)

Mommy's angel.
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 9:51am PST 
Oh Mordred, we are sorry you are going through rough times. hug

I just wanted to say that I understand where you are coming from. When I first got my Eleanor, and then my Annie (who cost me a ton in Vet bills) I was not the richest of people. All I could afford at that time was Meow Mix or Kibbles n' Bits.

It didn't mean that I loved them any less. I would have layed down my life for those cats-and I myeslf ate Raman Noodles because that was pretty much all I could afford.

So please don't feel bad. Do the best you can. hug hug hug
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Atrus

Fluff butt
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 9:58am PST 
Here are some cold hard facts:

Generally, products/services that cost more are of a higher quality, such as food or medical care
(not true of things like, handbags; cheap purses are just as much of a container as a designer bag is, but gosh do I ever love designer bags anyway)

Nowhere, ever, has every person had equal access to resources or wealth.

But the latter does not in any way diminish the disparity in quality between cheap and costly products.

Advice is given to include all options. People advocate raw diets knowing many people will not be in favor of it. People advocate foods that cannot be found in many areas or common pet food or grocery stores. No one makes any _assumptions_ about a person's wealth or preferences, they simply offer the best options. You make the choice as to what to do with the advice.
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Merlin - An Angel- Forever

*Poof*
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 1:43pm PST 
The AAFCO label doesn't mean anything, just that the food passed the very minimum nutrient requirements.

Many vets do not know anything about proper nutrition. Their knowledge is limited to a few classes in vet school, most likely funded by a big pet food company that gives away free products. Very few vets become board certified in nutrition or continue to learn about nutrition. Just because your vet says X brand is great doesn't mean that it is in fact good for your pet to eat. Many brands are food are very poor in quality, like Human junk foods.

Cats are obligate carnivores and must have meat in their diet, not a bunch of grains. Real muscle meat is perferred, not a by-product or meal. You can read more at Catinfo.org.

Feed your cat the best quality food that you can afford. Look at the ingredient label and choose a food that contains as few grains as possible as the first couple of ingredients.

Dry food really isn't the best for cats (can cause obesity and other health problems later in life) but feed it if you must. Maybe feed half canned and half dry (in separate bowls, not mixed together). Most canned foods are nutrionally complete. A few aren't, such as Sheba Premium Cuts and Merrick's Before Grain.

If you need financial help with the vet bills, try applying for some aid. There is a listing here: Need help with vet bills?
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Rasha

On the Prowl....
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 2:21pm PST 
Mordred, I like the way you worded your post. I can be one of those sometimes that talks trash about certain foods. I do not do it to bash the owner but because it makes me mad that pet food companies put such bad ingredients in a food and charge so much for it. Then they have the ability to talk their food up with commercials to make more money. I am a pet sitter and see soooo many pets being fed very low quality foods (usually the owners have plenty of money) and the pets are suffering very visibly. This is where my frustrations come from. I just came from a house with 8 dogs and 2 cats and most all of them are overweight, are on many medications and are fed food and treats loaded with bad ingredients and BHT. They are decrepit and this lady works for a vet. I know she loves her dogs but I don't see how she can not see what she is doing to them. I have also seen many cats dying slow agonizing deaths with hair loss, etc from being fed a bad food. Just like humans if you eat bad foods and don't have super genes you will most likely pay for it in the end. Maybe they lived for a long time but how was their quality of life?

My dogs and cats have always been fed a very good kibble but recently I have had to make some cuts also. The cats gets mainly Felidae dry food (you might want to look into that, it's cheaper than most foods) and wellness canned only a few times per week. They used to get EVO and Wellness grain free canned or raw.... but we have had to make some cuts. The dogs went from EVO to California Natural but I don't even know if I can feed that anymore. I know times are tough and feed what you can afford. One thing I wanted to point out though, is that with a higher quality food you will feed less. Cheetah only gets 1/4 cup per day of kibble and Rasha gets 1/2 cup so it takes forever to go through a small bag of Felidae which only costs about $10. We also have asked for samples and mix those in.... it helps greatly. If you email TOTW they will send samples.... tell them you have many picky cats. I emailed them about my 3 dogs and I got 5 lbs of samples! 3 sample bags of each flavor, so that will help. I have an old 5lb bag that I fill with all the samples I receive and mix that in with their food to help stretch. I also buy cornish hens and cheap meats to feed the cats with and that goes a very long way for the price.

So, yes I understand what you are saying. I am in a very bad financial situation but buying a lower quality food for the cats isn't really an option for me. I go out of my way to get cheap raw meats or many samples of good foods to keep us going. Rasha has herpes so any dip in nutrition and he's getting watery eyes and the sniffles. I have saved so much money over the years feeding better foods because I don't have to take him to the vet every other week for medications. I hope i'm not coming off as rude because I am not a rude person at all. Feed the best you can, research and supplement. When I had to drop quality I did much research before landing on Felidae.... it was the only food I could feed, still pay the bills and still sleep at night. Maybe we can talk about ways to save money, I always like to help!
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Rosita

Mom says I'm- bee-yooo-ti-ful!
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 2:41pm PST 
I think this was a good post, and I understand where you're coming from.

My cats were on Purina One dry for a long time until I decided to go with a grain-free holistic food. Truthfully they did alright on the Purina One, except they became overweight. I can also tell the difference in their litterbox usage, too.

With my Rosita's health scare last year, I started getting very picky about food because of her sensitive system. We have switched to Taste of the Wild kibble and everyone is doing great on it. If you can afford it, it's good food for your kitties.

We also include canned food in the diet, and we do use the grain-free formulas like Instinct. But sometimes if I run out and don't have time to make the drive for more (I live in the middle of nowhere), we use some grocery store canned that has no gluten and is low-carb.

Do the best you can and if your kitties are healthy and happy, that's what matters. There is sound reasoning behind going grain-free for cats, so if things get better and you can switch them, it's something to really consider.
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Cleopatra- 8/4/96-7/18/- 13

Cleopatra~Queen- of de Nile
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 3:00pm PST 
I too understand what you are saying. You have to do the best you can do for the cats you love and care for. There is good and bad to each of the viewpoints expressed on this forum. But at this point and time, I have to say that the fact that you are doing the best you can with what you have, is something to be commended. There are so many animals that are losing the only homes they have ever known because their owners cant afford to care for them.

To be perfectly honest, we are in that boat as well. My mom is a student and earns way less than she would make if she were on disability! YIKES!!!! Needless to say, we have had to make some adjustments. We eat Wellness Core, and fortunately a 5 pound bag lasts about a month because we eat less of it.... If that were not the case we would have to eat something cheaper.

Mom had a supervisor once tell her.... "Take what you can get, closest to what you want." That being said.... find the best possible food for the price you can afford.
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Mordred,PAWS

No Not-Moms!!!!
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 3:13pm PST 
This is Mordred's mom, saying thank you for the understanding. I meant only to say that it hurts me when the foods I feed to my furry friends are "garbage" or "crap"- and I have seen both of those words used.

Today, after a dental appointment, I drove to a local pet store to do some looking. Felidae is out of the question: $14 for 4 pounds simply is not in the budget since I'm feeding 4. Chicken Soup looked pretty good, and I noted that some people recommend that, but I liked Taste of the Wild better - and it's price is about the same as I've been paying for O.N.E. I bought a bag to try it - and was so discouraged to see that the recommended amount is *more* than I've been feeding of the O.N.E.

I am well aware that cats are obligate carnivores; as I said, I'm not stupid, nor am I ignorant. I've subscribed for several years to both Catnip and CatWatch - feline newsletters, one from Tufts University and the other from Cornell. (I can never remember which is from which university. LOL!) They generally recommend any good quality commercial food that meets AAFCO standards; I don't know of anyone I would trust more than a feline college. That being said, I also know that grains are carbohydrates, which cause both felines and humans to gain weight. That's why I''m trying the Taste of the Wild. I'll see how they do on it.

Weight is an issue with Mordred, and threatens to be so with Blue. Shadow, the formerly feral who became a barn cat and then a house cat when he broke his leg, has gained weight,but I think that has as much to do with his enforced confinement and lack of usual exercise. His checkup with xrays is Monday; hopefully, the surgeon will release him & he can go out when he wants. Althea is my "petite princess" at barely 7 pounds; overweight with her is not an issue.

I won't always be in financial straits, but for now - with 5 cats (one in the barn) and 2 ponies to feed - money is most definitely an issue. I really am doing the best I can; all I ask is that people not refer to the less expensive brands in derogatory terms. Although, I do understand now that some of that comes from frustration with the pet-food companies; thank you for giving me another perspective on that. I hope I've given some others a different perspective as well.

Peace.
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Osiris (in- loving- memory)

I sleep,- therefore I am.
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 4:07pm PST 
I also appreciate your post. I'm also feeling some financial strain, and know about cats' diets. Personally I'd go with the vet's opinion over anyone on the internet. We're all doing the best we can for our cats, and it's quite hurtful to be treated like idiots. Trust me when I say, I know about detox periods, and such. The food my cats are on are prescribed by my vet. I'm not going to go against that. My cats are 9, and are going to turn 10 this year. I don't want to upset their stomachs. They're happy and healthy. The last time Bastet was at the vet, the vet himself was impressed with how young she looked.
So what I'd really like to see is for others to tone down their language if possible. We're all here because we like cats, right? Let's try to remember that.
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Owen

Get outta my- house and stop- making noise
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 4:09pm PST 
Mordred's mom- I hear ya. I had to switch last month when we dodged a bullet with diabetes. Had that not happened, I don't think I would've bothered to change to canned (or raw, eventually) to be perfectly blunt. And that wasn't because I didn't care- the cost was really intimidating me.

With the economy tanking, I've been freaking out how I'd be able to afford the switch. I'm not sure myself how I'll afford it. I've heard that going to raw is affordable, and I really hope that's the case.
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